US risks confrontation with Russia

27 December, 2020 — Indian Punchline


Russia’s RS-28 Sarmat liquid-fueled superheavy intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau (File photo)

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov remarked last week that Moscow expects nothing good in relations with a “deeply hostile” US under the incoming administration of Joe Biden. He further said in an interview with the Interfax published Wednesday, “We are heading from bad to worse. The next US president has been left with a bad legacy and it will take a long time for him to sort this out.”

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The Future Will Only Contain What We Put into It Now: The Fifty-Third Newsletter (2020)

31 December 2020 — Tricontinental

20201028 Bolivia Twitter e1608757979495Image in homage of Bolivian people’s resistance by Tings Chak (China)

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Towards the end of November, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres addressed the German Bundestag to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN). At the heart of the UN is its Charter, the treaty that binds nations together in a global project, which has now been ratified by all 193 member nations of the UN. It is well worth reiterating the four main goals of the UN Charter, since most of these have slipped from public consciousness:

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What is left to say?

30 December 2020 — Dr Malcolm Kendrick

Essay of the Year!

I have not written much about COVID19 recently. What can be said? In my opinion the world has simply gone bonkers. The best description can be found in Dante’s Inferno, written many hundreds of years ago.

In it, Dante describes the outcasts, who took no side in the rebellion of angels. They live in the vestibule. Not in heaven, not in hell, forever unclassified. They reside on the shores of the Acheron. Naked and futile, they race around through a hellish mist in eternal pursuit of an elusive, wavering banner, symbolic of their pursuit of ever-shifting self-interest.

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 28, 2020

28 December 2020 — Black Agenda Report

Black Agenda Radio with Margaret Kimberley and Glen Ford 
South African Police More Lethal Than US Cops / Capitalism + Covid-19 = Mass Death in US / Corporate Baseball’s “Feeble” Gesture to Negro Leagues

South African Police More Lethal Than US Cops 

Black Agenda Radio with Margaret Kimberley and Glen Ford
“South African police kill between two and three times as many people as US police do, per capita,” said Paul Clarke, a doctoral candidate in African and American Studies who has done extensive research on labor, policing and privatization in South Africa. However, “it’s difficult to tell” if the Black majority regime kills more of its citizens than its apartheid predecessor, “because so many killings by police were covered up” during white rule, said Clarke. South Africa is also the biggest incarcerator on the continent.
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The dreaded lurgi strikes By William Bowles

24 December 2020 — Investigating Imperialism

Stop the world I want to get off! – Anthony Newly

Update 3: 24 December 2020

Officially Covid

24 December 2020

So I’m now officially Covid Positive. After my trauma of taking a shower on Monday, yesterday, I got transported to my local hospital’s A&E department to get checked out where I discovered that it wasn’t a heart attack but this bloody Virus wot done it!

I had a wonderful doctor take care of me, bloods done, x-ray, the works and an hour so later, the result; covid positive and pneumonia in one lung. So five days of penicillin and it should be over. And I was discharged, well kind of. I waited, in vain, for six hours for transport that never came, so finally, getting toward midnight, I walked out and caught a cab home (I live 10 minutes away).

So why all the scare tactics? It’s got to the point where people glance at you suspiciously on the street if you get ‘too close’. An atmosphere of paranoia pervades this (formerly) green and pleasant land (was it ever?), to be replaced by a very unpleasant sense of fear and alienation.

Yet, when you phone up the Covid-19 ‘hotline’, 119, the first thing you hear is a recorded message telling you that for the great majority, the Virus is not dangerous (a rerun of CMO  of England Chris Whitty’s May message). No wonder people are confused and hence scared, they don’t know what to believe! The upshot of this, is that many no longer believe ANYTHING, or alternately believe EVERYTHING they’re told. An extremely dangerous and volatile situation.

And as I go into 10 days of enforced isolation (quarantine), vast swathes of the country is being locked down! It’s as if the government really does want destroy millions of working peoples’ lives. But is this what it’s about? The so-called Great Reset?

I don’t think so. Our gangster government, loaded with incompetent crooks, that have, so far, handed out at least £100 BILLION of our money to the aforementioned crooks (half the annual NHS budget), has not slowed up (see this and this) but it goes far deeper than even the billions siphoned off the public account reveal.

When this, the latest disaster created by neoliberal capitalism took off, back in January 2020, the Tory government admitted 18, yes 18 million people into the UK (I didn’t believe the number either) and as the government had no idea who was carrying the virus, nor where they went, it was inevitable that the disease would explode, effectively at random wherever it found itself, and then spread, especially when winter arrived and all respiratory diseases have a field day. So, new mutation, or simply Winter? Or no effective track and trace. Well it’s too late for that anyway.

But this was the entire purpose of admitting so many millions, they called it ’herd immunity’ and just how big a disaster called ‘herd immunity’ was/is, is now readily apparent. But try finding big mouth corporate/state media investigating the disaster of herd immunity (any more than the disaster of multi-billion pound contracts handed out in exchange for crap). It’s yet another important news event going completely unreported. Instead, the capitalist press would rather frighten the living daylights out of everybody with fake news (eg the ‘new’ covid mutation or is it simply Winter or maybe it’s that removing Lockdowns allows the Virus to spread once more?) Who knows? ‘News’ is no longer News, it’s entered the realm of total fantasy.

So now, having initiated the destruction of most small businesses (the backbone of every high street in the country), the destruction of millions of jobs, the latest lockdown will finish off what’s left! And having further immiserated the working class and thrust an additional 800,000 children into Victorian penury, aside from the 1% (who are not touched and don’t give a fuck anyway), what does anybody in this miserable fucking dump have to look forward to in 2021?

This is why the scaremongering campaign; it’s to cover up the government’s criminal conduct and everything I wrote in my first two essays (here and here) on the Virus of Capitalism have come to pass!

Disaster Capitalism

There is NO 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th, Wave. What there is, is the Virus held in check by lockdowns, only to reemerge when the lockdown is lifted because we don’t know WHERE the Virus is and hence can’t block it. And we see the same pattern in the rest of the ‘advanced’ world. And in the meantime, they mutate. There are at least 6 variations of SARS-COV-2 doing the rounds.

Why do you think Wuhan as the single source (at the time) of the Virus was locked down and immediately? But in order for the Chinese govt to lockdown 11 million people, meant that not only had they to feed 11 million people every day, they had to have a health system that could respond without falling apart. Can you imagine this useless, corrupt and incompetent government, feeding 8 million Londoners EVERY day, let alone an NHS short of 20,000 doctors, 40,000 nurses and with only 50% of the hospital beds it had a decade ago.

So, as far as the UK govt is concerned, ‘Herd Immunity’ was an unqualified success. They’ve managed to make sure that wherever you live, you’ll NEVER escape the Virus. So it will be endless lockdowns until they’ve sold enough vaccines to claim that the unfortunate Virus has been beaten into submission. Until the next capitalist created disaster. But don’t worry corporate capitalism will have a ‘solution’ for that one as well.

And in the meantime, secret talks with mostly giant US corporations about the dismembering of the NHS, selling off the profitable chunks and have the state, sorry, the public, foot the bill for whatever’s left over.

It also explains the corporate/state desire for a Vaccine; it’s not to protect our health but to protect the vast profits that Big Pharma is making out of this crisis. If our (and other govts) were so sure of a vaccine, why has Big Pharma been legally indemnified against lawsuits? And it has the further advantage to the state of binding the population to the corporate-security state (eg ‘health passports).

Update 2:  21 December 2020

Well still waiting for my test result (and still waiting for my GP to call me), apparently now the wait is 6 days. Meanwhile, I’m under no misapprehension about the fact that I caught the virus (I dont need a test to tell me).

So, got my smell and taste back this morning, took a shower but after getting out of the shower, I didn’t have the energy to make it to my bedroom! Instead I had to lay down on the floor instead. So this is the second stage of the virus, stealing my oxygen! So, not sure where this is heading as elsewise I feel okay. So I phoned the 111 number, told them what had happened and they suggested that I phone my GP who shouldn’t take more than 3 days to contact me! And am still waiting…

I’m now convinced I had a heart attack yesterday (21/12/20), I just didn’t recognise it for what it was, the bloody Virus threw me and my GP didn’t believe me, I think she thought I was faking it.

Update 1: 20 December 2020

I lost my sense of taste and smell on Thursday morning and  I’m not feeling particularly bright today, though no other symptoms as yet. Is it the Virus? Well hopefully it’s nothing worse than the flu (though I haven’t had the flu in 45 years!), and hopefully, the RT-PCR test is being administered correctly and I’ll find out, hopefully by Monday whether I’ve been struck down or not.

Talking of tests, my local testing station, ‘managed’ by G4S, was a bit of a rinky-dink setup. You get ‘guided’ to a cubical (in fact, I was left standing until someone directed me to a completely open-sided cubical, so no privacy then). On the wall, is quite a complicated diagram in 12 or so stages, from preparing yourself, the test, and then getting it all packed up. The entire process came across as amateurish and half-baked, but then again, the government has given all the cash to their corrupt business cronies, so this is what we get.

Today, Sunday, I still don’t have a high temperature or a cough but I can’t say I’m feeling particularly bright. Apparently, there’s a new variant of the virus doing the rounds that is meant to be extremely infectious. Food tastes awful. Friends have recommended the following: Cloves and Lemongrass infused in boiling water and the steam inhaled. We’ll see.

As to updating the site, well I think I’ll give it a raincheck for a few days and see how this infection goes.

All the Cannons Will Silently Rust: The Fifty-Second Newsletter (2020)

24 December 2020 — Tricontinental

Chittaprosad India Peace undated 3Chittaprosad (India), Peace, undated.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Our year has been eclipsed by the pandemic, the rush of a virus paralysing societies across the world. Some governments offered smarter, more scientific, and humane approaches to the pandemic; many (but not all) of these have been governments with a socialist orientation. Amongst them is the Indian state of Kerala, tucked into the country’s south-west with a population of 35 million and governed by the Left Democratic Front (LDF). Kerala’s Health Minister KK Shailaja was later celebrated as the ‘Coronavirus Slayer’ for her leadership within a government that puts the needs of the population ahead of profit and superstition.

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Take action now: Solidarity with Cressingham Gardens

18 December 2020 — London Renters Union

To all London Renters Union members in Lambeth,

We are writing to you today to ask you to support a tightly knit community in Lambeth that is fighting against a planning application that threatens to destroy it.

Cressingham Gardens is a council owned estate – the building has been lauded by architects as a human and community centered building and what you’ll find at Cressingham Gardens is a testament to that. You can find a wonderful film made about the community at Cressingham Gardens here.

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Global Breaking News on GMOs and Pesticides 18 December 2020

18 December 2020 — Sustainable Pulse

Editors’ picks

Mexico Confirms Phase-Out of GMO Corn and Glyphosate Herbicides as World Recognizes Leydy Pech

A decree was released last week on Mexico’s National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (CONAMER) website that confirms a phase-out of use of both glyphosate and genetically modified (GMO) corn for human consumption in Mexico by 2024. The decree states that use of the herbicide glyphosate will be phased out over the next four years, although […]

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When Role of Vaccines as Public Health Clashes with Their Role As Source of Super Profits

9 November , 2020 — Counter Currents


Vaccines have performed an important role in improving public health and saving human lives. All the scientists, labs, manufacturers and medical personnel who contributed to this deserve our deepest thanks and gratitude.

However in recent years a different role of vaccines started emerging– vaccines as a source of huge profits. Things became more worrying when this role of vaccines started clashing with the role of vaccines as public health and even appeared to be superseding it.

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The Revolutionaries, When They Rise, Care for Nothing but Love: Newsletter Fifty-One (2020)

17 December 2020 — Tricontinental

El Zeft Egypt Nefertiti in a Gas Mask 2012 3El Zeft (Egypt), Nefertiti in a Gas Mask, 2012.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

A decade has now slipped by since a man named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on 17 December 2010. Bouazizi, a street vendor, took this extreme step after policemen harassed him for trying to survive. Not long after, thousands of people in this small Tunisian town gathered in the street to express their anger. Their outburst spread to the capital city, Tunis, where trade unions, social organisations, political parties, and civic groups marched into the avenues to overthrow the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Demonstrations in Tunisia inspired similar outbreaks around the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt to Spain, the chant of Cairo’s Tahrir Square – ash-sha’b yurid isqat an-nizam ‘(the people want to overthrow the regime’) – redolent with the emotion of hundreds of millions.

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Red, red Kerala hails Pinarayi’s leadership

16 December 2020 — Indian Punchline

M.K. Bhadrakumar

Jubilant communist party supporters savour massive election victory in Kerala’s local body elections, December 16, 2020

Malayalis attribute high importance to democratic elections in general, but the elections to the local bodies and the state assembly are of exceptional importance. Like in any part of the world where the roots of democracy and representative rule run deep and devolution of power percolates down to the grass roots, it is the local bodies in Kerala that affect people’s day-to-day life most directly. Having said that, of course, given the high literacy level in the state, Malayalis also make their point on the state of the nation whenever election time comes.

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Ecosocialist Bookshelf, December 2020

16 December 2020 — Climate & Capitalism

Winter Solstice reading for reds and greens: Disappearance of Butterflies; Multidisciplinary Anthropocene; Future Sea; Age of Low Tech; Diversifying Power; Commercial Capitalism.

Ecosocialist Bookshelf is an occasional feature. We can’t review every book we receive, but we will list and link to any that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with brief descriptions. Books described here may be reviewed in future. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) these books say.

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Watch: Rafael Correa on Venezuela, Assange, and ‘preventing the total destruction of our homeland’

16 December 2020 — The Grayzone

grayzone max blumenthal ecuador rafael correa interview


Max Blumenthal interviews former Ecuador President Rafael Correa, who was in Venezuela to observe its legislative elections and show support to a government under sustained economic and political attack by the US (inc. transcript).

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The Real Crime Isn’t Australian War Crimes—but a Chinese Political Cartoon About Australian War Crimes

15 December 2020 — FAIR

Photorealistic cartoon by Wuheqilin depicting an Australian soldier holding a knife to a child's throat

Is information inherently less trustworthy and authoritative because the source is Chinese?  It’s a question Westerners must grapple with as the US government and corporate journalists intensify their online “psychological operations” against China to manipulate public opinion in support of another Cold War (, 5/15/20).

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the general meeting of the Russian International Affairs Council, Moscow, December 8, 2020

8 December 2020 — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation



Esteemed Mr Ivanov,

Esteemed colleagues,

We continue working despite the coronavirus restrictions.

The international agenda has been packed with crises and conflicts. As if this was not enough, COVID-19 appeared and has done tangible damage to the global economy. State borders are still closed or subject to different restrictions. Human contact has been disrupted in all spheres without exceptions. It is only possible to counter this virus through a concerted effort if we really want to put an end to it. We and the majority of other countries are willing to do this. But our Western partners have, egoistically, tried to exploit the predicament to maximise their own profits, as they have done for many years. In effect, they are trying to maintain the model of a unipolar world order.

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Getting India out of the hole with China is still possible

12 December 2020 — Indian Punchline

M.K. Bhadrakumar

Long haul in Ladakh on India-China border

Two Indian correspondents based in Beijing drew out the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a press briefing Thursday on the recent ‘frank’ remarks by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar about India’s problematic relationship with China in an interview with the Australian think tank Lowy Institute. A purpose was served.

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Assertive Germany muddles Iran issue

10 December 2020 — Indian Punchline

M.K. Bhadrakumar

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin attended ceremony on the arrival of first of four German-made corvettes, Haifa, Israel, Dec. 2, 2020.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, in a speech in Moscow on December 8 dwelt on the western attempts lately to maintain the model of a unipolar world order. He said the European Union’s dalliance with the idea of itself being a pole in a multipolar system is dissipating and warned of Germany’s recent policies in the direction of preserving “its claims to full leadership” of the EU.

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Will China Run the World? Should it?

14 December 2020 — Global Justice in the 21st Century

Richard Falk 

[Prefatory Note: Interview Responses to Questions of Javad Heiran-Nia on world order in the time of COVID-19, with emphasis on China & United States, especially as reflected in the restructuring of the world economy. The underlying issue is whether the Chinese or U.S. approach to global policy and world order will gain the upper hand, and at what costs to humanity. The interview will be published in a forthcoming issue of Age of Reflection, a monthly magazine. ( This post adds some observations at the end that do not appear in the interview.]

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